Just six months ago United Airlines introduced a not-quite-Basic Economy fare option for transatlantic travels. Next week the company will complete the transition, formally rebranding the offering as Basic Economy. NOt surprisingly, the new version is even more restrictive than before.
A major airline commits to blockchain as a distribution avenue. That’s the story being spun about Air Canada’s deal with Winding Tree. And, to some extent it is accurate. But one key point remains relatively muted in the reporting: Air Canada really is not doing anything with blockchain.
In the end the difference was a couple hundred million or so. That’s the sweetener added by Air Canada and its banking partners to buy Aeroplan back from Aimia and boost the “new” in-house loyalty program at the carrier
Connectivity installations slow slightly over the summer, allowing an opportunity to take a big picture look at the industry and where the various players sit in terms of connected aircraft and future commitments. Compared to a year ago some players have shifted positions, even as the total committed count increases. The latter is definitely good news for all involved while the former is better for some than others.
Aeroplan will still have a Canadian airline partner when Air Canada’s participation in the program ends in 2020. Toronto-based Porter Air will convert its VIPorter loyalty program into the Aeroplan scheme at that time. Ongoing conversations with the oneworld alliance could further extend the loyalty program’s reach as its Star Alliance link disappears.
A year after announcing that it would no longer be an Aimia customer Air Canada (and its banking partners) now wants to buy the Aeroplan program off the loyalty operator. At a nice discount, of course. And it still is probably a smart move for everyone.
Euro-biz is going away on some WestJet planes. The carrier is upgrading its WestJet Plus offering to feature the Recaro CL4710 in a proper 2-2 cabin layout. This further moves the company away from its LCC roots and into a role as a global premium operator.
Qatar Airways GCEO Akbar Al Baker is known for making controversial statements. Now he is doing so representing both his airline and IATA, the global aviation trade group. So when he suggests that airline CEOs must be men because “It is a very challenging position” that creates all sorts of new problems.
Fares are going up across the Pond. All three major alliance JVs now offer some sort of Basic Economy for transatlantic travel. The Star Alliance A++ group launched its version this week, with sales starting 5 June 2018. No checked bag, no changes and no upgrades are the main limits, though there is more nuance in the details.
AirBaltic loves its CSeries jets. The Latvian carrier is set to dramatically grow that fleet. Today’s deal with Bombardier, inked just over one year since the first CS300 arrived in Riga, adds at least 30 more of the type to its fleet.